Bachelor's Degrees in Biotechnology

As an undergraduate student in a biotechnology degree program, you can take courses in biology and chemistry and you can choose an area of concentration. Get info on your options after graduation, such as what jobs you'll be qualified for and what graduate degree programs you could pursue. Schools offering Biotechnology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Will I Take in a Biotechnology Bachelor's Degree Program?

If natural sciences are your strong suit, you'll thrive in a curriculum that is intensely focused on biology and chemistry, with a touch of physics. Along with general education requirements in liberal arts, math and social sciences, you will take degree-related courses in the fundamentals of:

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Cellular biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Immunology

Biotechnology programs tend to emphasize hands-on experience, including huge amounts of laboratory time, research, internships and cooperative learning experiences in local biotechnology industries. That's why you won't find biotechnology bachelor's degree programs online. You may even be able to work in a professor's own laboratory, helping with research that will be published in a scientific journal.

Common Courses Molecular biology, biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, organic chemistry
Specialization Options Regulatory affairs and practices, plant systems, microbial systems, bioinformatics, animal systems
Career Options Postsecondary teaching, product development, research, biotechnology sales, technical writing
Graduate Degrees Master's degree, Ph.D. degree

Can I Specialize within the Degree Program?

In most programs, you can use elective courses to concentrate on a particular area of biotechnology. Depending on your long-term goals, concentrations can be oriented toward life sciences or business. Possibilities include:

  • Animal systems
  • Plant systems
  • Microbial systems
  • Bioinformatics
  • Bioscience policy and management
  • Regulatory affairs and practices

What Can I Do with My Degree?

Many biotechnology jobs require advanced degrees, especially careers in genetics, independent research and postsecondary teaching. Bachelor's degree holders may become research associates, performing laboratory work that's typically designed and directed by graduate degree holders. Because of this, many graduates opt to continue their studies. If you're looking to enter the workforce directly, a bachelor's degree still qualifies you for a wide range of entry-level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you will most likely find opportunities in applied research, product development, management or inspection. Other less traditional options are biotechnology sales and marketing or technical writing.

What Kinds of Graduate Programs Can I Pursue?

A Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in biotechnology would significantly expand your career opportunities. Master's degree programs emphasize lab work, research and field experience. They offer concentrations such as stem cell research, virology, immunology or biotechnology management. Some schools have combined B.S. and M.S. programs which allow you to earn both degrees in five years. A Ph.D. is required for most independent biotechnology research and university faculty positions. These programs tend to be research intensive.

Remember, too, that you are not limited to biotechnology graduate programs! A bachelor's degree in biotechnology can form a solid foundation for medical school, dental school, or advanced degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology and other life sciences.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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